West's joke about Kiffin upsets players

The punch line might not be clear.

But Tennessee understands the premise and the target, and it clearly isn't pleased.

Copies of a joke Memphis coach Tommy West told at a preseason banquet about Vols coach Lane Kiffin have been plastered around the locker room and the practice field since Monday. And though the story might not make too much sense or be all that funny, the Vols have made clear they're offended heading into Saturday's home game.

West's joke was the subject of a column by Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal on Aug. 15.

"Those comments really didn't sit well with me, just for the fact that's my head coach and because of everything he's done for us," safety Eric Berry said. "Coming in here to roll with us, keeping all the promises to us that he's made, how hard he works for us and all he's going to do for us, I just took it as a low blow. He (West) hasn't even sat down and talked with my head coach, I don't believe, and I don't even get the joke he tried to make.

"I just really felt bad about that for him to not even know Coach Kiffin and not even know what he stands for with his players. Anybody that plays for him would see the type of coach he is, and I think a lot of the guys on this team are just going to take that a little personal that they took that shot at our coach. We're just going to go out there, and really it'll be a physical game."

Certainly there was a chance the Vols (4-4) might have overlooked this game after a brutal stretch of games in the conference last month, but the instate rivals have their attention now after West's unusual story about Kiffin selling a lying dog.

The Tigers (2-6, 1-4 C-USA) haven't had much to boast about this season and the quotes from West are old at this point, but they'll surely be reminded about them at Neyland Stadium.

"I feel like we're all a family here and (Kiffin) backs us up on a lot of things," running back Montario Hardesty said. "We're definitely a little upset about it as a family, and now we're just going to go out there on Saturday night and take care of business for coach. For us, I think the main thing was it was somebody taking a shot at somebody in our family - the head man in our family.

"Coming into the week our biggest motivation was we'd been playing good the last couple games and we wanted to come out and practice as hard as we had been. But seeing that quote, hearing a guy chattering about (Kiffin), I think it gave us a little more motivation to go out there this week. We always say it's about us and not about them, but I think that helped us on the practice field go out and get better this week."

Bulletin-board material is usually designed to do just that, and the Vols haven't had to resort to ploys like that much this season.

Kiffin also haven't been all that shy about providing some for opponents, but that's a big part of the reason UT has rallied behind him since he arrived.

"I don't think coach is worried about it, but to me, I really didn't like the fact he would say that," Berry said. "I think that did help us, that little comment. I hate that he said it, but I think it did kind of wake us up.

"It's like, 'Man, that's our coach he's talking about.' He's the guy that stands up for us, this is a guy that basically came in talking smack for us to say that he had our back, so we're going to ride with him until the wheels fall off. That's our guy, and we're going to fight for him just like he fights for us."

That doesn't mean trading punches for punch lines. But the intensity has been dialed up by the Vols.

Bumps and Bruises: Gerald Williams will be a game-time decision at defensive end, but everybody else nursing minor injuries appears ready to play.

"It's good to have most of our guys healthy, and we'll find out about (kicker Daniel) Lincoln in warmups," Kiffin said. "He kicked the ball (Wednesday) and seemed to be all right, and this will be a game where we'll need everybody on deck."

To read the column by Geoff Calkins go toThe Commercial Appeal.

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Comments » 146

justbware#205283 writes:

Are you serious with this? Does there have to be a bulletin board quote for every game? We are talking about Kiffin here. He's said a word or two before and after a game. Geez!

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

just remember guys, hangin' 50-0 on them would hurt worse than any vengful lick you can lay on someone. Don't be stupid and catch a bunch of personal fouls. Well, maybe one good one, make it count!

TnScooby writes:

Wow...like Tiger High can afford to provide ANY bulletin board material....Like CLK found out, nothing you say is private and it will always get out to the media somehow...BTW, I have a Black Lab and he never lies!

Seriouslyorange writes:

Maybe the dog can fill in for Duke in the Bush Beans commercials! Duke never lies (wink, wink)!

Cldvols1 writes:

We execute and play our game of physical football we beat the Hemphis by 30 points. Go Vols!!!

abnermc writes:

why would that joke bother anybody?

FWBVol writes:

I hate to say this about any former Volunteer, which Tommy West is, but the way Memphis has played this year his coaching is funnier than that so-called joke.

jsm67vol writes:

I like that it takes so little to get Berry and these Vols fired up to want to slobber knock somebody. Go Vols!!!!

AceVentura writes:

What was the joke?

TnScooby writes:

in response to abnermc:

why would that joke bother anybody?

Did you click the link and read the article?? I guess being associated with a lying dog and basically being called one shouldn't bother anybody?? Ok......It bothered me but maybe it's alright with you...JMO

TnScooby writes:

The link is at the end of the article....

TnScooby writes:

Here is the joke:

By Geoff Calkins

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tommy West wanted to try out his joke.

The man always has a joke for the Highland Hundred's kickoff banquet. Heading into his ninth year as Memphis coach, that's not as easy as you'd think.

So West wanted to give this one a test drive before they started bringing out the chicken cordon bleu.

"A friend of mine was in Knoxville," said West, and where else would you have expect the friend to have been?

The friend wanted to find Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's house. When he finally found it, he saw a sign in the front yard: "Talking dog for sale."

The friend saw a Lab, sitting there.

"You the talking dog?"

"Yep," the dog said.

"What's your story?" the friend asked, and the dog told his tale.

He'd been talking all his life. He once worked for the CIA. After a while, he got tired of that and took a job in security at the Knoxville airport and -- it was about this exact moment that Kiffin showed up.

"You really selling the dog?" West's friend asked the Vols coach.

"Yes," said Kiffin. "Five bucks."

"Five bucks? Why would you sell a dog like that for five bucks?"

"He's a liar!" Kiffin said. "He didn't do any of that stuff!"

Hahaha.

"Pretty good, eh?" West said.

walt23tn writes:

It doesn't matter, Memphis gets their asses beat down again....what a surprise. Where are the Memphis guys? Oh, they are gone?! Another surprise. Amazing how they disappear on the weeks they go up against us. Sorry, what am I doing?....talking **** like Lane Kiffin...hahaha

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Haha, I don't know what's funnier, the joke about the dog, the joke that was telling it, the CA article, or the tiger high football program in general! Go Vols! Hardesty is going to crack the 1000 yard mark on 18 carries Saturday. Mark it down.

rjrich#235198 writes:

Hey Vol Fans

Does it strike anyone else that Mr. West making jokes about CLK and UT comes across like the French making jokes about the German army in 1941? Just a thought.

Go Vols!!

VOLorado writes:

THIS SERIOUSLY OFFENDS ME.....

this is a joke?

this should offend anyone with a sense of humor.

SanFranciscoVol writes:

I don't get it. If I were trying to make fun of someone I would like to think I would do better... However, say something about my family, whether you're a lousy comedian or not, and I'll bust you.

This game should make the Chivas go down even smoother...

What a loser....

Hang 50 on them...
GBO!

higgman55 writes:

I didn't read the above article, as I do not have to, for I know that the good ole Vol boys will kick the Bucket Sat. nite at K town!! I am not a man who knows all the stats. nor do I want to. I read all the post from the Bama trolls, and from the Gators too, they are lucky to be where are now, and deep down they know it! All I know is, is this what it means to be a Vols fan.
We live in the greatest state, in this crused union. We are a part of one of the greatest college schools to ever play the game! Lord don't the Orange run deep?! I was raised pick'n cotton, my Dad didn't know what a Vol was, he was too busy putting food on the table for us five to know much of what was happening outside of our community. I do know what TENNESSEE football means to me, it is what a real man lusts for on sunny fall Saturdays! This Saturday, I will be cook'n Crappie for frens, the Jager flowing, East Tennessee Blueberry Moonshine flowing, and people in Orange, screaming, out here IN COUNTRY, where I live!! Got spring water in plumbing, and good ole boys for neighbors!! Lord, I love TENNESSEE!!!

keepitreal4vols writes:

Dang, I don't even get the joke. But glad our players do and are bringing the wood shed Saturday.

pikavol writes:

That joke is not a very good joke... and West is not a very good coach.

The reaction by the players is somewhat laughable. Reminds me of Gators and Bammers "talkin" about revenge before the game ever started.

talkin don't make a sh*t. Take care of it on the field...

DC_Vol writes:

The Vols will beat Florida next year in Knoxville. Write it Down!!!!!!!!!!

higgman55 writes:

in response to SanFranciscoVol:

I don't get it. If I were trying to make fun of someone I would like to think I would do better... However, say something about my family, whether you're a lousy comedian or not, and I'll bust you.

This game should make the Chivas go down even smoother...

What a loser....

Hang 50 on them...
GBO!

Don't know what Chivas is son, but I got some EAST TENNESSEE BLUEBERRY SHINE, that was made by a former NASCAR champion, that would suit your California Pallatte!! Gold trees, clear water, and cheering on the Vols!! LET'S GIT'ER DONE! GO VOLUNTEERS!!!

higgman55 writes:

in response to DC_Vol:

The Vols will beat Florida next year in Knoxville. Write it Down!!!!!!!!!!

You git an AMEN from the higgman! Dogg!

higgman55 writes:

Got this joke in an email, over a month ago, DWEEBE joke, at best! GO VLUNTEERS!!

VolAlum2003 (Inactive) writes:

I think I get the joke...but it's not very funny. What West was trying to say is that Kiffin isn't that smart because he has a talking dog and he's selling it because the dog is a liar...but the real value is that the dog talks. The closest real world analogy I could drag out of my brain is the Taj Boyd situation, but even that doesn't work right.

Kiffin is a lot of things, but he is NOT stupid. His "mouth" has gotten UT noticed and recognized more than just about anything the previous staff ever did short of the 1998 season. He keeps UT in the news which is a basic marketing tactic that, again, the previous staff didn't seem to understand. When he came on as a coach, he stole coaching talent away from other programs, paid that talent well, and has employed what may be the best recruiting scheme in the NCAA.

But if coaches around the country want to give Monte Kiffin's boys something to get pumped about, go to it! Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk. Lets see if Memphis can walk... before the Vols makes them crawl.

MemphisVol writes:

Don't Let Up!!! Put On More Steam!!!!!

kabulvol writes:

First of all, who wrote this article? A high school student? You might want to actually include the joke in the article instead of a link to it at the very end. That annoys the phooey out of me.

richvol writes:

Tommy West was a good receiver for the Vols and a teamate of Fulmer's if my memory serves correct. He has had some good seasons at Memphis and has keep them at least respectable by getting them into some bowls...which were very rare prior to his tenure. The joke was typical of old southern humor and not offensive in any way. However,I still would like to see UT lay 50 on them...go VOLS!

10volunteers98 writes:

West should go to Hollywood and be a stand-up comedian.It`s obvious he would be a better comedian than a head football coach.And that AIN`T no lie! GO,VOLS!!!

dvols writes:

go vols......but u homers should quit doggin on memphis!!!!!!! we need that talent...and that support... u would be surprised of how many VOLS live in memphis!! those are the empty seats in neyland. we need them back!!!!!!!!

dvols writes:

alcoa and maryville might win state every year but they dont produce div 1 talent! fact! we need west tn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (besides randall cobb) but thats KY

ccVOLSdhf writes:

I think I get it. The dogs value to talk. Is greatly reduced do to the fact he's a liar.(thats the joke) Yeah he can talk but everything he says is a lie,So what good is he. I think if there was a dig at CLK it's that he talks alot but he's full of it.... BUT OBVIOUSLY THAT WAS SAID BEFORE WE ALL KNEW THAT CLK IS THE TRUTH!! He may talk some $hit but he backs it up, and what he says he means, and he says were building A CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM!!! and I for one believe him GBO!

OrangeJuice writes:

Go vols !

hueypilot writes:

It really is a funny situation. Poor old Tommy just pulled a name out of a hat. He said Lane Kiffin but he could have said Houston Nutt, or John Calipari or Barack Obama, but he didn't. And for all that we've got Tommy to thank for a motivation for some Vols like Berry and Hardesty who have told the young pups their coach was making fun of OUR COACH. It reminds me of Gerry Dinardo giving Tennessee a reason to get up for Vandy. Not smart Tommy. And I loved Tommy West as a Vol player. Tell me Tommy, what will you do after this season, when you no longer coach football?

rocky_topper writes:

t. west is a total a** and always has been! this is not the first time he has taken shots at our coaches!

Hounddog writes:

I've know a mess o lyin dogs!

Let's play football. Hounddog.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz.

Get 'em, Vols.

69grad writes:

West was a red-neck idiot when he coached at Clemson, and obviously he's a bigger one now that he's at Mempiss College for the Socially Challenged.

WhitePineVol77 writes:

I would hope that the VOLS would be ready for this game regardless of the "joke". Surely they know that a table sweeping is not a given! We will be lucky to go bowling this year, but I do have faith in the team as long as they show up for every game, one game at a time. Remember...Peyton lost 4 games as a starter at UT. Three to Florida and one to Memphis!

Hounddog writes:

in response to WhitePineVol77:

I would hope that the VOLS would be ready for this game regardless of the "joke". Surely they know that a table sweeping is not a given! We will be lucky to go bowling this year, but I do have faith in the team as long as they show up for every game, one game at a time. Remember...Peyton lost 4 games as a starter at UT. Three to Florida and one to Memphis!

As A Memphian. Amen

Let's play football. Hounddog

abnerPeabody writes:

That was funny, again.I have listened to that joke several times over the years.I don't believe for one minute any pun toward Kiffin was intended.Just play football guys and get a little thicker skin.My goodness folks,Kiffin has said worse things than that and we loved it.Some one in our church even told that on our Pastor.Laugh and be happy.Just beat Memphis High Saturday.

GOBIGO72 writes:

that's just snot snortin' funny - here's a good one - I stopped by West's house the other nite and the dawg was so embaressed he had run off. Only thing left was the for sale sign....Tiger High - shake your head pitiful - prepare for your whoopin' as the countdown has begun.

Ringside writes:

The way this squad is hitting and fighting, wouldn't want to be a Mempuss receiver coming across the middle tomorrow.

Slimjim_Vols writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

bhjohnso#207063 writes:

i guess tommy west tells jokes about as well as he coaches football?

steamboatticket#484773 writes:

Why players got themselves some upsetment from joke that include they coach? Kiffin not butt of joke. Oh boy. Players supposed to be tough, but they having lot of sensitivity that make no sense.

98vols writes:

I'm a Big VOL fan from Memphis. I was at the 96 game where the stupid tigers beat Manning and the VOLS. I want a real time butt woopin from my VOLS! I have been following the VOLS since Coach Bill Battle and Conridge Holloway. tiger fans are very annoying here in the flat lands we need to shut them up real good this year.

tonyvick#213307 writes:

in response to TnScooby:

Here is the joke:

By Geoff Calkins

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tommy West wanted to try out his joke.

The man always has a joke for the Highland Hundred's kickoff banquet. Heading into his ninth year as Memphis coach, that's not as easy as you'd think.

So West wanted to give this one a test drive before they started bringing out the chicken cordon bleu.

"A friend of mine was in Knoxville," said West, and where else would you have expect the friend to have been?

The friend wanted to find Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's house. When he finally found it, he saw a sign in the front yard: "Talking dog for sale."

The friend saw a Lab, sitting there.

"You the talking dog?"

"Yep," the dog said.

"What's your story?" the friend asked, and the dog told his tale.

He'd been talking all his life. He once worked for the CIA. After a while, he got tired of that and took a job in security at the Knoxville airport and -- it was about this exact moment that Kiffin showed up.

"You really selling the dog?" West's friend asked the Vols coach.

"Yes," said Kiffin. "Five bucks."

"Five bucks? Why would you sell a dog like that for five bucks?"

"He's a liar!" Kiffin said. "He didn't do any of that stuff!"

Hahaha.

"Pretty good, eh?" West said.

Seems he didn't finish the joke...it was above my head 'cause I didn't get it. Guys just beat the heck out of Memphis joke or not.

Slimjim_Vols writes:

in response to dthenc:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And this is a Tennessee board that talks about Tennessee....... You're like Urban, obsessed with all things Kiffin!

And your right, he won't lose, but your never say just lost when your get the 5hit beat out of ya

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